Kevin Frenette: Fall River Guitar Guy
From left: Andy McWain, John McLellan, Kevin Frenette
The thing with John is, he plays like no other drummer. He drops the bottom out. The pulse is there and it's so strong, but it's just implied. He's decorating. He's like a painter, I think. He's just decorating around the beat, and you almost feel the beat from watching him
AAJ: Like negative space?
KF: Exactly. And that is huge to me. I find that I'm reacting so much to what he's not playing. And that's what pushes this band forwardis the fact that everyone's holding back.
AAJ: Almost like trust falls.
KF: I totally agree. Everybody's just pulling back and being really self-aware of making something beautiful. I know James is always thinking "beautiful support" in what he's playing. And I'm just trying to play beautiful melodies over what he is, or the best melodies that I could possibly playand it couldn't be easier with John there. Everything he plays is perfect.
AAJ: Is this all improvised, or do you have any notation?
KF: All improvised.
AAJ: Because it is reminiscent of Bill Dixon. In his Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12, 2009), he uses notation in a special way. It's part of a whole system that involves intensive studio preparation and improvisation as well. Bill Dixon is unique, so you can never sum up what he's doing in a technical synopsisit's never as simple as pure notation or improvisation. And no one agrees on what he's doing, technically speaking.
The same can be said for you. You can't reduce what you do to music theory, you're doing so many different things. It's complex on one level and simple on another.
KF: Yeah. I think it's pulling from everything we know, at all times. Everyone's feeding off of that.
Kevin Frenette Quartet, Live at the 119 Gallery (Abrasive Chair, 2010)
Kevin Frenette Trio, Fragile Moments (Abrasive Chair, 2010)
Kevin Frenette 4, Connections (Fuller Street, 2006)
Pages 1-3: Lisa Frenette
Page 4: Matt Samolis